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Posted on Sep 07, 2017 by Danielle Sopko
Let’s be honest, I’m only 8 weeks into this beautiful (and stressful) new job of motherhood, so I’m by no means an expert. Balancing being a first-time-mamma and a business owner had a sharp learning curve. Prior to having Ayla, I was dowsed with loads of (sometimes unsolicited) advice on what life would be like once the baby arrived. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to get your baby to sleep, or whether to use Pampers or Huggies diapers, I am going to share five key things that have saved my sanity during this transition into mommyland.
Hand over the reigns (of your business).
Before we even started trying to have a child, we knew I would need help if we were lucky enough to get pregnant when it came to running Bliss Paper Boutique. In June of 2016 (over a year before Ayla was born), I hired an assistant. If you’re a small business owner, and have the flexibility to bring a worker on part-time, I recommend this. It truly did take that full year prior to Ayla’s birth to feel 100% confident that I could turn my business over to someone else for a month or so while I recovered from the birth, and enjoyed a true maternity leave.
Use your spouse.
After being up throughout the night with Ayla, when the sun comes up, I need some solid rest before the day starts. At 6/6:30 a.m. every morning, my husband takes the baby and the dog and leaves for a 2-mile walk. I sleep. I sleep hard. The power hour nap before my day gets going is an integral part of my day. Plus, it gives my husband time for daddy-daughter time, and the pup get his exercise in, it’s win-win!
This might seem obvious, but take a shower every day. Enjoy one glass of wine without the baby in your arms. Go to the grocery store alone. Do one small thing each day by yourself (working doesn’t count!). This will make you feel like “you.” To be the best version of myself, and the best mother possible, I need this time mentally. I need to turn off being Ayla’s mommy and be Danielle for a bit (even if that’s only 10-15 minutes a day).
Put down the Google.
A mother’s instincts truly are parallel to none. You can make yourself sick reading mom blogs, Facebook forums, etc. trying to figure out why you’re baby isn’t nursing “right,” or why your child doesn’t understand their days vs. nights yet. Who wants to spend those precious newborn weeks addicted to the internet trying to “fix everything” when in reality, there is probably nothing wrong? A baby will be fussy. Nursing will have its ups and downs. Sleep deprivation is a real thing. But, mothers have been raising children for centuries without the guidance of the internet just fine. So, put down the iPhone, and listen to your gut – you’ve got this!
Let the dishes wait.
I love the phrase “The days are long, but the years fly by.” This is so accurate. Enjoy each and every moment with your baby. The stack of dishes in the sink can wait. The emails building up in your inbox can be answered when the baby falls asleep. Your shirt can go one more day sitting in the laundry hamper. When your children are grown up, you’re not going to sit back and think, “I wish I would’ve loaded the dishwasher sooner,” or “Man, I should’ve vacuumed twice a week, not once.” You’re going to think, “I’m so glad I used to rock my baby to sleep each night,” and “I loved those days when we stayed in our pajamas until 10 am reading nursery books.”
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